By Andrew Bushe
DUBLIN — The Industrial Development Authority has confirmed that it has been talking with the world’s most valuable company, Cisco Systems, following a report that the California-based high-tech giant is planning to create up to 3,000 jobs in the Dublin area.
The jobs boost would be a major addition to the government’s plans to establish the country as an e-commerce hub.
"We have been in regular contact with the company and it is a target," an IDA spokesman said. "There is no commitment as yet."
The IDA has already lured such high-profile technology companies as Microsoft, IBM, Dell, Gateway, Xerox and Hewlett-Packard.
Convincing Cisco, whose technology runs much of the internet, to expand its modest operation in Ireland would boost plans to raise the country’s visibility in the dot.com industry worldwide and help establish Ireland as a base for European operations.
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A detail-filled report in Monday’s Irish Times says a visit to Silicon Valley by Tanaiste Mary Harney last year helped seal a deal with the San Jose-headquartered company.
The report says the company has acquired a site in the Dublin area. Cisco already employs about 50 in a small operation in Dublin.
Cisco launched its first product in 1986 at a time when the worldwide web was mostly used by researchers and the military. The IDA says it has been talking to Cisco for five years.
Cisco now controls over 80 percent of the routers — the devices that sort information sent via the Internet — and employs more than 30,000 worldwide.
Its market capitalization of over $478 billion now exceeds that of Microsoft.